Piracy counter measures


Since 2014, VideoLock, alongside sister company AudioLock, has continued to fight the battle against piracy in the UK and around the globe, together ensuring continued and progressive results in protecting content for the film, television and music industries.

We automatically detect pirate links almost immediately after they are posted, using our in-house Pirate Engine; a near real-time, ever expanding data warehouse of pirate links.

With a dynamic team made up of technology architects, data engineers and filmmakers, we have continued to build upon the reputation that AudioLock secured as the music industry’s leading anti-piracy platform. We deliver measurable results from effective processes to protect the hard work behind the small and big screens of the world.

Understanding the risks, vulnerabilities and how the creative industry is affected by piracy is key to our success. This includes understanding the production process, right through to the distribution of works. This fuels our determination to tackle piracy and ensure that audiences continue to access a large range of high-quality entertainment, whilst protecting the artistic values of the industry. In doing this, we aim to help protect the revenue streams and enhance the outreach of producers and all others involved in the delivery chain.

With a combined effort, together we will further reduce the impact of piracy through education and the development of new distribution opportunities and technologies.


Continuous scanning

VideoLock uses The Pirate Engine which is a data warehouse which is continually being filled with feeds from an ever growing list of thousands of pirate sites. With a total currently of over 4.3 billion pirate links and the almost real-time feeds this data source enables VideoLock to locate links to your content as they are discovered providing a continuous cover.

New sites discovered daily

VideoLock benefits from being part of the ‘Global Content Protection’ group of anti-piracy companies so as new pirate sites are discovered by any of the other related companies these are also automatically accessible to the VideoLock scanning system.

In addition VideoLock has a unique bot which follows links leading off of the existing known pirate sites. Analysing any new sites it finds to see whether it suspects they are pirate sites before it notifies the ‘Operations Team’ of the potential new site to ensure it is checked and added as soon as possible.

Bypassing of pirate defensive tools

Pirate sites try to ensure that links are not taken down by automated systems like VideoLock through the use of link protection services. The best known being adf.ly which shows the user additional adverts which making them also have to click an additional button after a 5 second wait. You can try an example here.

Many use captchas and other interactive puzzles and games to try to stop automated processes from accessing the links they protect by checking that the link is being used by a human. The VideoLock system is extremely sophisticated and is able to get around these defenses and new protectors are being added to the system daily as they are discovered.

Updated daily

The system is being continually updated to ensure that not only are the defenses used by pirate sites avoided but that new sites are added as soon as possible.


While the system is able to scan for content in any language and each title can have unlimited variations for releases which are territory specific the team who drive VideoLock also speak English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian and Dutch.

These skills are essential to ensure your content is being efficiently protected Worldwide.


The VideoLock system will capture detailed evidence of every link that it processes. This evidence can then be used as proof of an infringement should it be challenged. We often find pirate sites that might have a link to a specific film which when followed redirects to different content. If the site admin creates this behaviour after the link has been identified and notices sent then the evidence is able to prove that it has been altered.

Evidence gathered includes full webshots, full HTTP archive (HAR file), the rendered HTML (including anything rendered by Javascript). In addition to this if the system has been set to download and identify the content it will store the downloaded files allowing interrogation of release information such as NFO files.

The video files themselves are transcoded into streaming versions which are securely hosted on a CDN allowing the content to be quickly streamed and checked by staff and client users of the system. This is essential to help identify potential sources of the different leaks and releases.

Additional services

At VideoLock we have developed a wide range of specialist tools and systems which can be used to deliver services outside of the core platform. Whether it be large scale crawling of web sites or analysis of Big Data to identify the lifecycle of pirate releases, the team are able to provide consultancy on a wide range of security, technical or content topics.